I find myself reflecting a lot during the holiday season. This year, my musings really resonated with the thoughts my friend Kara Stewart shared. I loved her that just as Jesus discovered and lived His purpose, we can, too.
The Following Is From Kara Stewart
Christmas is a favorite time of year for most people for quite a few reasons. But I think it can boil down to two very important things—Family and Christ. It is a time for families to be together and for loved ones to be remembered. It is a time for Christians to reflect on the most significant event that has ever happened on this earth, the birth Christ.
When thinking about the birth of Christ, you cannot help but want to repent for everything you do wrong. When I read the story each year and watch the videos, I can feel in my heart just how special a moment that was to everyone on earth.
I think of the shepherds who watched over their flocks. These humble men had such strong faith at a time when the Jews’ hearts were hardened.
I think of the star, that shone so bright in the sky for all to see. I can’t help thinking that anyone who looked up in the sky that night and saw a star shining that brightly could help but know that something special was taking place on the earth that night.
For some reason when I think about the start shining so bright, I think about the earth mourning when it lost Christ so many years later. The earth mourned for its Maker. I feel like the night Christ was born, the Mother Earth herself had to rejoice at its Creators’ birth and I feel positive that those on earth at that time could feel something special happening.
I think of Christ being born in the most humbling of circumstances. Of His sweet mother having Him and wrapping Him swaddling clothes and laying Him in a manger.
I think of the Wise Men who traveled so far and long and kept persevering until they reached Him. I think of the gifts they brought with them on their long travels and again, am reminded of the gift I need to give Christ this season.
We all know the story of Christ’s birth extremely well, but I think just remembering those important details about His humble birth can bring about quite a bit of reflection in our lives.
Jesus Christ Discovered His Purpose
I felt prompted to reflect on the purpose of Christ coming to earth. He knew this purpose before He came, but like us, he had to learn what his purpose was.
In Chapter 25 of the Teachings and Life of President Joseph Fielding Smith, it says,
Our Savior was a God before he was born into this world, and he brought with him that same status when he came here. He was as much a God when he was born into the world as he was before. But as far as this life is concerned, it appears that he had to start just as all other children do and gain his knowledge line upon line.
Again, Christ knew His purpose in coming to earth. However, he had to forget everything, just like all of us did when we were born. He had to gain this knowledge for Himself.
President Joseph Fielding Smith continues,
Without doubt, Jesus came into the world subject to the same condition as was required of each of us- he forgot everything, and he had to grow from grace to grace. His forgetting would be requisite just as it is in the case of each of us to complete the present temporal existence.
Now, when I thought about this, I felt it was remarkable that Christ was able to find out what His purpose was in life before the age of 12. Because once He reached this age, He started teaching wise men and doctors in the temple. It made me wonder how He did this. But President Smith continues to explain…
This knowledge could come to him by revelation, by the visitation of angels, or in some other way. But his knowledge, so far as this life was concerned, had come line upon line, precept upon precept. Without question he was in communication from time to time with his Heavenly Father.
We Can Discover Our Purposes
Now, most of us will not have an angel or God Himself come to tell us what our purpose is here on this earth, but because of Christ’s birth and sacrifice we are all able to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. He is our own personal angel and can help us receive this answer.
Christ is a perfect example in all areas of His life and finding His purpose and fulfilling it are no exception. He found his purpose, believed it, lived it, and taught it.
In the pre-existence, we chose to come to earth. We knew what trials we would have to go through and what joys we would experience. We knew our purpose. However, as we were born, we quickly forgot it. It is up to us to learn what our own individual purpose is. Once we do, we need to believe it and never forget it. We need to live it and when we can, we need to teach it to others.
I think about Christ finding out His purpose on earth, which is to redeem all men from physical and spiritual death. How extraordinary was His purpose and how strong His faith was to accept it with His entire being and live it?
I think of Joseph Smith and his purpose to restore Christ’s gospel. H went forward with faith despite the persecutions he faced. I think of people I have met in my life that are now gone, who have remarkably fulfilled their purposes.
Now, we all know our general purpose for coming here on this earth. It is to gain a physical body and return back to our Father in Heaven. However, we are not all going to go down the same path and have the same experiences in life. Therefore, we each are going to have our own individual purpose we need to achieve here on this earth. Once we find what God wants us to achieve here, I hope we can all go forward with faith and accept it with our hearts and live it throughout our lives.
As these thoughts were coming to me, it hit me that if we truly learn our purpose here on Earth and complete it, there is no greater gift to God. That is why He sent His son here. Because of Christ, we can fulfill the purpose we were given.
Christmas time is the season of giving. Each year I like to think about what gift I can give to God, and there are so many to name because all I have to do is think about my 1,000-page mental list of faults and try to better just one of them that year. But I think God would be pleased with us if we continued living our purpose in life as best as we can. And if we haven’t found that purpose, why not find out what it is this season?